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Intestinal obstruction

Dec 1, 2016Posted by nameless

Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine.

Intestinal obstruction

Causes:

Obstruction of the bowel may due to:

A mechanical cause (something blocking the way):

Adhesions or scar tissue that forms after surgery

Foreign bodies

Gallstones

Hernias

Impacted stool

Intussusception

Tumorsblocking the intestines

Volvulus

Ileus, a condition in which the bowel doesn't work correctly but there is no structural problem

Bacteria or viruses that cause intestinal infections

Chemical, electrolyte, or mineral imbalances

Complications of abdominal surgery

Decreased blood supply to the intestines

Infections inside the abdomen, such as appendicitis

Kidney or lung disease

Use of certain medications, especially narcotics

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

Abdominal pain and cramping

Nausea

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Constipation

Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas

Swelling of the abdomen (distention)

Treatment:

Treatment for intestinal obstruction depends on the cause of your condition, but generally requires hospitalization.

Most bowel obstructions are partial blockages that get better on their own. Some may need more treatment. These treatments include using liquids or air (enemas) or small mesh tubes (stents) to open up the blockage. Surgery is almost always needed when the intestine is completely blocked or when the blood supply is cut off.

Complications

Complications may include or may lead to:

Electrolyte imbalances

Dehydration

Intestinal perforation

Infection

Jaundice